By Aijaz Ahmed
Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League (N) proudly calls itself a principled party and claims it is against 'lotacracy' and that it always abides by the Charter of Democracy. It also uses the name of Benazir Bhutto whenever it’s leaders want the government to go on the back foot. However its double standards have been exposed as the same "principled" party has allowed an alleged plotter of Benazir Bhutto's murder and a close associate of military dictator Musharraf and the Choudhris of Gujrat to join PML-N.
It may be recalled here that Benazir Bhutto had sent an email in 2007 to her lobbyist in Washington, DC and a family friend, Mark Siegel, containing four names who according to her were plotting her murder according g to her own information. The then Director General IB Brigadier (retd) Ijaz Shah’s name was one of the four suspects nominated by BB herself.
|Former IB chief, Brig. Ret. Ijaz Shah|
BB’s suspicion of her murder plot was not baseless. She was indeed brutally martyred at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on 27th December 2007. Brigadier Ijaz shortly after the general elections in 2008 ran away from Pakistan and settled in Australia with the blessings of the man at the helm of affairs at that time and he was no other than Musharraf. As Ijaz Shah was also known as a close friend of PML-N’s arch rivals, the Choudhris of Gujrat, the party had started an aggressive campaign when PPP joined hands with the Q league. It had blamed PPP of selling out the murder of BB “Shaheed”.
The PML-N had vowed to take revenge from the murderers if and when it formed a government in the center. But all the claims, love and respect for BB has proved to be false and a mere political stunt as Ijaz Shah who returned to Lahore few weeks back after a secret settlement with Punjab government has formally joined PML-N few days back and signed the membership form of the party from Nankana Sahib, suburban town of Sheikhupura near Lahore and the place of birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion and a great fighter against state repression.
No word of sorry has been tendered by the “principled” PML-N leadership to the followers of BB most of whom had started believing in Nawaz Sharif after losing their faith in Asif Zardari. The reason given by PML-N for taking such people and members of Q league in the party ranks is most interesting. Senator Pervez Rasheed while giving his reaction to a question about the talks with Q league responded positively and uttered that “we will talk with everybody willing to join us against Zardari Raj”. ‘We are in contact with PML-Q and will accept anybody except the Choudhris of Gujrat. We want to isolate them in politics and will go to any extent’, he added.
The “principled” PML-N now seems to follow the policy of lotacracy which it talked against so much at one time to stop it’s arch rival PPP from gaining majority in the Senate in March next year. Sumera Malik, a close aide of Musharraf and a cause of confrontation between Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry and General Musharraf has now become very close to Mian Sahib. She is going to join PML-N despite being a member from PML-Q. She earlier tried to join PPP, but her relationship with Farooq Leghari did not prove very helpful.
Next in line is Sheikh Rasheed of Lal Haveli. He has established contacts with his former party and is all set to become a PML-N candidate from NA 55 in next general elections. He was the man who had categorically refused Begum Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif to support a pro Nawaz Movement after 12th October, 1999 and had later joined Musharraf camp. He claimed himself to be a non-official spokesman of GHQ. One can imagine what will be the situation like when he will walk with Nawaz Sharif who claims to be an anti military dictatorship. But that is surely confined to a dictatorship that removed him from the Prime Minister House. Thus the proverb, that politics has no permanent foes or friend is proved true once again and lotacracy is in the vogue again.